We had a new visitor at the water bowl today. A young male Cheshire cat in all its beauty. Some days we get sparrows and other days our regular visitors are the crows that live in the trees opposite our house.
It all started one sunny afternoon when our mother saw the pigeons all sad and the sparrows in distress. It dawned on her that there was no easy source for water nearby, even the drains had dried up that year.
We first got a small flowerpot that was fixed in a metal ring. But in just a day or so the pot vanished, never to be seen again. She then got a huge plastic bowl that was fixed with wires to ensure that it did not move from its place. She ensured that there was water in it at all times.
The water dance was a beautiful spectacle that took all of us by surprise. The alpha pigeon would hop onto the windowsill, take a bow and then drop straight into the water. Pigeons are pretty expressionless but the flapping of the wings was evidence enough of the joy. Soon his wives and other pigeons followed and took part in this water ballet. The monkeys usually come late in the afternoon after prowling the neighbourhood for leftovers and food. The have their fill and then laze around in the sun, till dusk.
The crow family had one peculiar habit. The moment our mother would fill the bowl, the crows would fly in for a sip as if conveying their preference for fresh water. The sparrows were last in the queue and waited patiently for all to finish. Whenever we see sparrows we get the feeling that they have small and timid hearts. The drop of a pin sends them hurrying to their nests. On days when she might forget, which she rarely does, the pigeons start sitting on the windowsill and keep peeping inside.
A water bowl is such a simple gesture, which can spread so much cheer all around. The fact that the pigeons and the crows and the monkeys and the cat recognize my mom, gives me immense pleasure. This summer keep a bowl of water for the birds and allow the sound of chirping birds to enter your life again.